Jump to navigation
In the 20th century and today, fashion designers bring imagination to even the most traditional plaids and tartans. Although it might seem like an innocent alteration, Pierre Cardin’s tartan turned on a diagonal could be considered subversive. Because a tartan’s design, or “sett,” is conventionally read upright, Cardin transforms the design, as a matter of style. Other designers playfully use plaid in their work: in this bright red ensemble, the tartan has been so enlarged that the twill weave becomes part of the pattern, almost obscuring the sett. Bill Blass combined two plaids to create an entirely new pattern, proving that tradition can be reinvented.
Worn in Cleveland by Dorothy Ceruti. Gift of Dorothy Ceruti, 93.53.4. Featured in "Mad for Plaid" Exhibit.